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Wait, what?

April 19th, 2022|Human Nature|

Jay is a 45-year-old Michigan man who says he pulls down six figures as a successful business consultant. He drives a luxury car; he has a smoking hot girlfriend. He also pees sitting down because his penis is caged by a hard-plastic harness the color of pink bubble gum. His girlfriend put it there, and she’s the only one who can take it off.

InsideHook

Oh, it gets better:

But while the harness was at first tight and uncomfortable, hindering both urination and ejaculation, Jay got used to its weight and has since grown to enjoy its embrace. All that worrying about coworkers or friends catching him with the thing on gives Jay an adrenaline rush like that of having sex in public. When the harness is finally removed by his girlfriend — for cleanings, certain social occasions or for intercourse — he says it’s like “a treat.” The release, freedom and delayed gratification makes these experiences special and, thus, more pleasurable.

We live in a strange, strange world.

Do as I say, not as I do

April 19th, 2022|Politics|

“You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the Internet to destroy your life,” Lorenz said while choking back tears, “and it’s so isolating.”

So what’s Lorenz doing about it? She’s, um, about to doxx a Twitter user who has become popular for simply reposting Tik Tok videos of progressives. And the woman behind the popular Libs of TikTok twitter account — who keeps getting banned by Twitter simply for posting the public content of others — says Lorenz is coming after her family members, too.

— Hot Air

Political hypocrisy comes for all of us. But this is outrageous by any standard. Almost unbelievable, even.

A bit of an overstatement, maybe…

April 19th, 2022|Human Nature, Politics|

Elon, don’t let these communist creeps stop you. Freedom of speech is the soul of America. Fight for it! Fight for all of us!

Do it and I might even buy a Tesla. The tech is cool, and I love the idea of a self-driving car (when it’s ready), even though I’m skeptical electric cars do much for the environment.

— Roger Simon, The Epoch Times

Maybe I’m too cynical for my own good, but color me skeptical that Elon Musk’s intentions are pure with regard to his attempted hostile takeover of Twitter.

Is Musk really willing to throw down $40-plus billion of his own hard-earned money to save free speech so that America doesn’t collapse on itself?

Not likely.

And even if his intentions are pure, what’s the likelihood that Musk turns the world’s most influential social networking platform into a true monument for free speech that can uphold itself successfully?

Even less likely.

Why? Because “free speech” is a lot more complex than it seems. Just ask Donald Trump. Frustrated by his treatment by Big Tech — which, admittedly, was a bit unfair — Trump launched Truth Social, which was supposed to be a free-speech zone. Except, it’s not.

Because it can’t be. It’s easy enough to say that you’re going to permit anything and everything that isn’t illegal speech. Until you start thinking about all the points of view that the 1st Amendment truly protects. Pedophilia…blatant racism…the list gets long in a hurry.

There’s a fine line. It’s a line that balances censoring dangerous and offensive speech without political favor or bias, of course. But straddling that line is more easily said than done, because perception is everything. What happens when a sitting president encourages people to riot in the streets of Chicago and tear down monuments? As soon as you censor his account, all of his followers are going to put you on blast.

There’s no doubt that Big Tech is biased against conservatives. And that’s a problem. Networks like Facebook and Twitter are far too engrained into our society today to be dismissed as non-consequential. Collectively, Big Tech has the ability to steer the public conversation and influence voters. (The censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story stands alone as the most outrageous example of Big Tech’s bias, and it may very well have single-handedly influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.) Make no mistake: Big Tech’s treatment of conservative thought is a threat to democracy.

But do you know what else is a threat to democracy? Misinformation. And, sadly, Facebook and Twitter are safe havens for people with ill intent — both right here at home, among us, and foreign governments that are purposely stirring the pot to divide us. Truth Social had hardly launched before it began to see the same misinformation start to crop up.

And, for that reason alone, there will always be a need for censorship wherever the masses gather. A Twitter that is completely and solely owned by Elon Musk will not be much different from current Twitter. And even if Musk’s intentions are pure, he’ll soon realize that he has a monster by the tail and can’t control it.

That takes us back to the top. Does anyone really believe that Elon Musk doesn’t fully realize what he’s getting himself into? You don’t become the world’s wealthiest man unless you’re intelligent, and Musk is an extremely intelligent guy. Like most rich people, he also has an out-sized ego. So, no, Musk’s intentions probably aren’t pure. More probably, he’s being driven by his ego.

The GOP needs Romney

April 12th, 2022|Politics|

Romney could face a challenge from Republican state Attorney General Sean Reyes, who supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) may also make a bid for Romney’s seat.

“I think that’s why he is giving this some pause. He will have a tough race with the Republican nomination process,” said Richard Davis, a professor emeritus of political science at Brigham Young University.

Davis said that Romney’s vote for Jackson, whom the senator praised as “a person of honor,” would likely be an issue in a future primary.

Romney is considered unlikely to win the Republican nomination at the state party convention, which is dominated by activists, so he would likely have to collect enough petition signatures to bypass the convention and advance to a primary.

— The Hill

Mitt Romney’s vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, after two votes to convict Donald Trump on impeachment charges, will likely send him the same way as Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) — two other moderate Republicans who stood against Trump and are now out of politics.

But make no mistake: The Republican Party needs Mitt Romney. Every time a moderate who sometimes casts a maverick vote is exiled and replaced with a far-right loyalist, the party is made weaker, not stronger. I don’t agree with Romney’s votes to convict Trump any more than most Republicans — not because I don’t think Trump brought his impeachments on himself, but because I don’t agree with impeaching presidents as a general rule. Still, Romney is one of the best right-of-center politicians in the game today. He would have made an outstanding president if he’d been elected in 2012. He’s an excellent businessman who knows what it takes to be successful in the private sector, he’s a savvy politician who knows what it takes to be successful in the political sector (as he demonstrated by successfully navigating deep-blue Massachusetts as governor there), and perhaps most of all, he’s his own man and isn’t afraid to buck the status quo. When someone like Romney or Flake or Corker votes against their Republican colleagues, it doesn’t tell me they’re a RINO (Republican In Name Only), as they’re so popularly referenced these days. Instead, it tells me that they’re not afraid to stand on their convictions and refuse to be cowed into voting a certain way. We (America) need more politicians like that … from people like Romney on the right, and from people like Joe Manchin (W.V.) on the left.

The only way we get out of this political quagmire we’ve gotten ourselves into in America is if we stop letting ourselves be ruled by the wing nuts from either side and get back to governing from the center. Ronald Reagan understood that. Even Bill Clinton understood that. But in the past 20 or so years, we’ve lost our way.

The importance of free press

April 11th, 2022|Politics|

Axios reports that, in Russia, Vladimir Putin isn’t losing.

81% of Russians approved of the invasion as of March 30, and Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has climbed to 83%, according to Levada’s polling — though the fact that opposition to the war has been criminalized makes those numbers harder to interpret.

There’s a reason for the rally behind the Russian despot:

“Oh, what is this West doing to us?'” she recalls a cashier saying when she visited a town outside the city. “The sanctions just reassured people that the West is evil.”

The sanctions have only amplified the sentiment among most Russians that western aggression caused this conflict in the first place, says Denis Volkov, director of the Levada Center, Russia’s top independent pollster.

“For the majority, it’s not about Ukraine. It’s about Russia and the West fighting inside Ukraine,” Volkov says. In focus groups, Russians will complain that their lives are getting harder, while at the same time praising Putin for standing up to the U.S., he says.

And there’s a reason why Russians are apt to rally around Dear Leader:

Anything or anyone that doesn’t support the Kremlin line is being suppressed. Demonstrators and journalists face up to 15 years in prison for protesting the war or reporting truthfully on it. The protests that began after the invasion have largely died down.

Suppression of free expression is nothing new under Putin. For the past 15 years, Russia has been cracking down on independent media outlets and increasing the Kremlin’s control over media outlets. What little remained of the free press in Russia ended with the start of the Ukraine war. Because reporters face years in prison if they dare to report the truth on the ground in Ukraine, or anything else that is damning to Russia, folks who live in Russia have very little idea what’s happening in the outside world. They know only a manufactured narrative that the U.S. and the U.K. and the rest of the western world is oppressing them, and Putin is fighting back on their behalf.

This is why all of us should be very, very concerned when we hear American politicians demonizing the press. The American news media is a long, long way from perfect — but it’s still a long way ahead of Russia’s state-controlled press. And a free press remains one of the most vital tools of democracy.

Two crooks and a whole lot of disenfranchised constituents

April 11th, 2022|Politics|

Writing for the New York Post, Miranda Devine lays out the case for criminal conduct within the Biden family, including “Big Guy” himself:

Alarm bells are starting to ring in Democratic circles as the White House stonewalls in the face of increasing media inquiries. In two absurd statements in recent days, White House spokespeople said the president stands by his pre-election statement that Hunter never received any money from China, and he continues to deny that he knew anything about his son’s overseas business dealings.

Meanwhile, the House committee charged with investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol says it has enough evidence to support criminal charges against Donald Trump, though the committee’s members cannot agree on whether to recommend charges.

In between our current leader and our most recent former leader are more than 330 million Americans who are being consistently fleeced by Washington. Yet we continue to elect clowns who are in it for themselves, at the expense of the nation. And if we’re Republican, we’ll defend the one with the R by his name until we’re blue in the face, while Democrats will defend the one with the D by his name until they’re likewise out of breath.

Do better, America.

Speaking of political hypocrisy

April 11th, 2022|Politics|

Have you noticed how snitty Republicans get when they’re called out for cynically sacrificing the well-being of vulnerable children to make political points?

— LA Times

That’s LAT columnist Robin Abcarian, discussing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “fight” with Disney over the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Sacrificing the well-being of vulnerable children to make political points? Would that be something like a Disney exec admitting on internal video to inserting a gay agenda into children’s programming?

By the way: Abcarian might have her money on Disney, but if I were a betting man (I’m not, except for about once every three months when the Saturday night PowerBall jackpot approaches a couple hundred million) my money would be on DeSantis. I’d say he’s carefully choosing his battles and is well on his way to being the next President of the United States — with or without my vote. (Also, Rick Moran — not to be confused with Rick Moranis — makes a strong case for why this fight will hurt Disney a lot more than it will hurt DeSantis.)

Politics and hypocrisy

April 11th, 2022|Politics|

You want hypocrisy? How about Mitch McConnell blocking Barack Obama’s 11th hour Supreme Court nomination while defending his “duty” to push through Donald Trump’s nominee with a pious excuse about the “will of the voters” (whatever that was supposed to mean).

You want hypocrisy? How about Chuck Schumer and the Democrats screeching about Republicans’ hard-line questioning of SCOTUS pick Ketanji Brown Jackson after the circus Democrats subjected us to during the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh.

The point, I suppose, is simply this: Neither Republicans or Democrats have a moral high road to claim when it comes to hypocrisy in politics. At the end of the day, both sides — all of us — are going to pick a hill to die on, based on whatever political ideologies we hold nearest to our heart.

My weekly column

CRT and Christianity: It’s complicated

April 11th, 2022|Christianity, Politics|

This is the exact wrong time to close Christian hearts and minds to thoughtful voices, including thoughtful voices who offer new approaches to our understandings of race and justice in the United States. You don’t have to agree. You can and should dissent when you sincerely believe ideas are wrong. But when activists shout “CRT” about ideas they don’t like, they’re not defending the faith, they’re often trying to block you from perspectives that Christian believers need to hear.

David French

This is one of the more thoughtful pieces on Critical Race Theory that you’ll find on the ‘net.

Putin, justified; Zelenskyy, bad

April 4th, 2022|Politics|

But what about Zelenskyy, the “new Churchill”?  On the plus side, Rickards acknowledges, he has “succeeded in presenting himself as a strong wartime leader, standing up to the big, bad Putin.” He’s telegenic, a fighter, and a PR genius. No wonder the U.S. Congress gave him a standing ovation. But he is also a complicated figure. As Rickards also notes, Zelenskyy is “a corrupt oligarch with millions of dollars hidden offshore. His acting skills have enhanced his propaganda efforts, but it doesn’t take much training to see how phony he is.” Moreover, “innocent civilians, including women and children, are dying under his failed leadership and inability to come to terms with Putin before the invasion began. In a nutshell, Zelenskyy bet on support from Biden and the West and lost.”

— Roger Kimball

Have you noticed that every, single one of these “conservative” columnists and commentators who are backing the pro-Russia narrative tend to stick to the same script? It’s a carefully-crafted prose (likely authored by Tucker Carlson) intended to sympathize with Vlad Putin without coming right out and praising him, while simultaneously vilifying Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an effort to discredit him. Any news out of Ukraine that appears to paint Putin and his army as the bad guy in the fight is dismissed as “propaganda,” and any news out of Ukraine that appears to bolster the Russian cause is propped up as gospel.

These are people who will harshly criticize the U.S. government — including Congress and the White House — for taking a hard-line stand against Russia, yet drape themselves in the American flag come July and label themselves patriots. It reeks of hypocrisy.

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